A Satanic drug thing
We're currently in the midst of a heavy rock revolt against all the twee emo diddling and foppishly fancy post-punk posturing of the past few years, with the pulverizing blast of Boris, the Sword, C'mon and the Illuminati leading the way.
So it's very timely of Germany's Steamhammer/SPV label to reissue Monster Magnet 's furiously whumping Spine Of God debut from 92 and their mind-melting 93 follow-up 25... Tab, which was actually recorded first and contains a live version of the song Spine Of God. It's a long story.
Forget about their post-95 work -- Monster Magnet's evil early attempts to destroy the earth with their guitars is where you'll find the serious scorch. Snake Dance, Nod Scene, Pill Shovel, Zodiac Lung... ahh, the maniacal genius of Dave Wyndorf was just slightly ahead of its time.
Blur's silver lining
Can't say that I was ever a Blur fan, but thankfully, frontman Damon Albarn has been using his ill-gotten gains to atone for his musical sins by putting out some good music on his Honest Jon's boutique label. Take the third volume in the excellent London Is The Place For Me series, which focuses on the entrancing highlife recordings of Ambrose Adekoya Campbell recorded for the Melodisc label, a delightful sampler of British folk revival recordings by Lal Waterson , Nic Jones , Dave Burland and Dick Gaughan from the 70s called Never The Same and a new recording by Southern soul great Candi Staton entitled His Hands, her first decent secular recording in decades.
While the rhythm section and arrangements don't really measure up to her classic Fame recordings, it's great to hear Staton singing those sweet countrified ballads again.
No doubting Thomas
While I admit to being partial to the Muscle Shoals sessions that New Orleans soul sister number-one Irma Thomas recorded during her two-year stopover at Chess, her lesser-known 70s recordings under the aegis of songwriter/producer Jerry Williams, Jr. , aka Swamp Dogg , are remarkably great.
Thankfully, Kent/ACE had the good sense to compile the tracks Thomas cut with Swamp Dogg for Fungus, Canyon, Roker and RCS on the swank retrospective A Woman's Viewpoint. Admittedly, it's not all gold, but songs like In Between Tears, She'll Never Be Your Wife and the stirring update of Wish Someone Would Care are among her finest-ever studio performances. Fans of seriously deep Southern soul and Swamp Dogg's truth-telling tunes should check this out.